I tried the famous low-carb high-fat diet for 10 days back in March and I finally want to share my keto diet results. I have been putting off writing this ketogenic diet review, as I didn’t know how people would react to it. If you’re reading this, please understand that this is what happened to me, this is my opinion and my personal experience. I’ll share the pro’s and con’s of trying this diet plus why I can’t and don’t want to do it anymore.
How I Ended Up Doing Keto?
After giving birth for the first time, the pregnancy and all things related to it, catapulted my normal weight of 120 pounds to 165 pounds postpartum.
I seemed to be stuck there no matter what I did. Not for a month or two, but for already 18 months…
Losing 10 pounds was a real struggle and 45 pounds seemed like something that would never, ever happen.
I would lose 6 pounds in 6 weeks and gain it all back in a week when I start eating “normal”.
It’s an understatement when I say I felt miserable, truly miserable with all that extra weight I had on me for the first time in my life…I was a completely different person looking at my pre-pregnancy clothes and shoes. Nothing would fit anymore. The weight gain changed me not just physically, but mentally as well because my confidence just wasn’t there anymore.
So I looked into some options that gave me the promise of fast fat burning with an acceptable lifestyle change for a new and busy mom.
I decided to try the ketogenic diet like everyone else in 2018, early 2019. It’s a pretty extreme diet and I would’ve never tried it if I wasn’t just desperate.
But it sounded like a good idea for one reason: I could lose 26 pounds eating mascarpone for 8 weeks. That’s extreme, but it’s the dream!
Starting The Keto Diet
So in March, I started.
I tried the healthier version. This meant – avocado, healthy oils such as coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, nuts, fish, green vegetables, olives, yogurt, cheese, and of course mascarpone for dessert.
I wanted to do the keto diet for at least 4 weeks.
I was drinking a gallon of water every day, which is 4 liters, which is a lot. Didn’t have any constipation and did not miss carb. The diet was easy to maintain and the meals were fast and delicious.
Keto Diet Results
Researching questions like: “How much can you lose on a keto diet in a week?” I expected to lose between 3-7 pounds during my first seven days eating low-carb high-fat.
And they’re not wrong. I did lose that much. 5 pounds to be exact.
Then on day 10, when I had to quit, I had lost 7 pounds in 10 days on the keto diet.
I also had lost 2 inches around my chest and belly and my hips & legs had shrunk just a little bit.
Keto Diet Review
- It can be very delicious. I tried new recipes, experimented with food a lot and it all tasted really good. I felt satisfied and happy with it.
- Wasn’t hungry, but I felt lighter
- My belly became flatter. No joke in 3-4 days it just happened.
- I felt energized and could get more done
- I did not miss sweets and carbs, even though I was still preparing meals for my toddler
- It was easy for me to stay in ketosis and to maintain the diet
- I lost weight on keto and it seemed to be from fat
- I also kept the weight off after I had to stop
- The keto flu is a real thing! I had it for only two days. I was sneezing, tired and really run down. No water in the seemed to prevent this. I felt good until day 7 and then it hit me. I wasn’t sure whether I was getting sick or it was “just” the famous keto flu. Since I am a mom of a toddler, I tried to keep away from my son as much as I could with all the sneezing and feeling sick. Luckily, after 2 days, it went away.
- I had to pee, A LOT.
- My cholesterol levels went up, in just one week on keto. Which a lot of people say isn’t bad, but with my family history of cardiovascular disease, their opinion doesn’t really help me a lot.
- My immune system and my skin did not love the keto diet. After the first few days I started looking tired and I also got a cold sore (which from experience I know only happens when my immune system is down).
The Ugly & Why I Had To Stop
I was constantly stressed because of my blood sugar levels. During my pregnancy, I developed gestational diabetes, and after that I was struggling with insulin resistance.
When I started the keto diet, it was the first time after the pregnancy that my blood sugar levels went down. They also wouldn’t spike after I ate like usually.
Then something scary happened.
I woke up shivering and feeling dizzy at 3 am on day 10. Having the blood sugar levels on my mind, I thought they were way too low since I hadn’t eaten anything for 9 hours. I measured my blood sugar level and it was over 100!
My fasted blood sugar levels are never this high, even when I’m eating crap.
My body felt strange. I was afraid, that my insulin resistance or wh knows what was happening to me, I thought I might be getting into ketoacidosis. No idea.
And I didn’t want to know. I went to the kitchen and ate a bowl of oatmeal. After 15 min, I still felt bad. After an hour I got back to normal.
From reading a lot online, trying to finish my own internet MD, and from talking to my doctor, I understood that the keto diet isn’t the best choice for people with thyroid disease as well as for some diabetes patients. And I have both of these conditions.
I knew that keto is a diet that causes your insulin levels to go low. Having insulin resistance I thought this was actually a good goal to have. But from what I read here, not having enough insulin in your blood can affect your thyroid function and slow it down.
Maybe it was this, maybe it was something else making me feel this bad, I don’t know. I only knew I didn’t like not being in control of my body, so I decided to stop.
And I’m glad I did with time. Because getting off keto was pretty hard, even though I did it for only 10 days. My immune system suffered and I felt exhausted the next weeks.
Overall I did lose weight and kept it off, which is the good part. However, this low-carb high-fat diet doesn’t seem to be safe or sustainable for me.
Would I recommend it?
Definitely talk to a dietitian and an endocrinologist whether this dietary approach is really the way to go for you for weight loss.
Before starting the keto diet I also highly recommend reading this article. It took me a while to find it after I had my “breakdown”. Everything you read about keto online is positive and about improving brain health, losing weight and beating cancer. This summary actually points to sources that show it might not always be the case. It’s very individual and you need to know your own case before jumping into a diet like this.
On the bright side, I do think keto can be a great start if you want to transition into a low-carb lifestyle and IF you don’t have any thyroid problems or other health conditions. You won’t have to deal with cravings so much and you will lose weight. Just make sure it’s safe for you to do.
As for me, while I haven’t been doing keto since, I did realize I don’t need to have a carb overdose at every meal. It has definitely helped me reduce my sugar intake and I’ve been making more lower-carb meals on a daily basis.
I don’t count carbs, but I avoid the “unhealthy” carbs as much as possible (but I’d never say no to French fries when we’re eating out). I love salads, so that’s what I’ve been really into lately with all the fresh produce. This way of eating is working for me better, as my blood sugar is stable and my blood results are better.